Po­lice plead for safer driv­ing

Horowhenua Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - By SADIE BECKMAN

Levin Po­lice are urg­ing Horowhenua drivers to take more care on the road and re­port bad driv­ing, af­ter an un­prece­dented spate of ac­ci­dents in the past week has torn fam­i­lies apart and shaken the com­mu­nity just be­fore Christ­mas.

Four peo­ple were killed on the dis­trict’s roads in the last week.

Two peo­ple died fol­low­ing a crash be­tween Fox­ton and Levin on Mon­day.

The in­ci­dent in­volved seven peo­ple. One per­son died at the scene, while the other died later in hos­pi­tal.

One per­son also died on State High­way 1 at O¯ hau around 4.50pm on Tues­day af­ter­noon in a crash in­volv­ing a car and a ute.

A sep­a­rate crash just a few kilo­me­tres away at Manakau in­volv­ing a car and a heavy mo­tor ve­hi­cle killed an­other per­son in the early evening of the same day.

In both crashes on Tues­day, peo­ple were also se­ri­ously in­jured.

On Wed­nes­day a crash be­tween a car and a truck on SH1 near O¯ taki re­sulted in no in­juries.

A fur­ther in­ci­dent on Wed­nes­day re­sulted in a car trans­porter truck car­ry­ing eight new ve­hi­cles crash­ing off the road at the Whi­rokino Bridge near Fox­ton.

No in­juries were re­ported, al­though the road had to be closed while power was di­verted and dig­gers re­trieved all the ve­hi­cles.

Levin Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Sam Gilpin urged drivers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their driv­ing and the safety of their pas­sen­gers and other road users.

“Our mes­sage to all road users is clear,” he said.

“Don’t drive dis­tracted, stay within your own lane, buckle up, watch your speed, and never drive un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol, drugs or fa­tigue.

“The ac­tions you take as a driver don’t only im­pact on you but on all the road users around you, and po­ten­tially those road users’ fam­i­lies and friends.

“While Po­lice are com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing death and in­jury on our roads we can­not do it alone.”

He urged peo­ple to pull over to a safe spot if they see any dan­ger­ous driv­ing, and call 111.

For less se­ri­ous in­stances of poor driv­ing, call *555.

Snr Sgt Gilpin said drivers who re­port dan­ger­ous driv­ing are re­minded not to use cell phones while driv­ing .

“Us­ing your phone while on the road could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death.”

A mes­sage was also re­leased by Cen­tral Districts Po­lice urg­ing peo­ple to take a few min­utes out of their day to think about their own driv­ing.

“Road safety is ev­ery­body’s re­spon­si­bil­ity and your be­hav­iour be­hind the wheel could change a fam­ily for­ever. Could you live with that?” the state­ment said.

Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen said ur­gent safety im­prove­ments were needed on the dis­trict’s “killer” stretch of road.

“Horowhenua Dis­trict Coun­cil will con­tinue to fight for the road safety [mea­sures] re­quired to en­sure the well­be­ing of lo­cals and those pass­ing through our dis­trict,” he said.

“[It’s] up to NZTA and cen­tral govern­ment to get things hap­pen­ing as soon as pos­si­ble.”

LVN301118p­w­bridge1 PHOTO / PAUL WIL­LIAMS

A dig­ger drags one of the cars from the wreck­age of a crash at Fox­ton.

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